It has been my pet interest to read and understand this sacred text. So far I am not impressed with the God (called Allah) that it proclaims. I do find this God not worthy of worship AT THIS TIME, but will continue to hear the words relayed as I plan to read further.
I have not read much but don’t like what I have read so far. I chose to start with a part that is toward the end ( reading the bible I chose to start with Revelation BTW), somewhat hoping to hear the freedom declared in the Bible’s NT, the message as I took as we are God’s own children, at equal status with Jesus (in the NT of the Bible), eternal beings, alpha and omega, beginning and end, and fully God, and exempt from the law of this world and will be granted eternal life.
I have not heard anything like this so far - but I am ever hopeful. What I heard is we (humans) are slaves, and if some people don’t accept this they will be tormented in Hell forever, this by Allah, the most merciful. I know demons that are more merciful then this, and none of them are mercyful (those who know me understand this).
I do plan to read further, and as in the Bible it depends greatly on where one starts as what message one gets, and the whole is needed. But so far I am not impressed and actually very disappointed as I felt this would and should be a gateway for God’s children, which I am not seeing, and yes at this time I do put their God on notice that I will challenge him directly and he will be required to answer to me, that is Allah (the most merciful).
I hope to be able to continue my progress in this sacred text and report.
Their God is not called “Allah”, Allah is the word for God. Christians or Jews speaking Arabic use the word “Allah” to refer to God just as they use the word “God” in English. The Muslim God is the same God as that worshiped by the Jews and Christians, that is, the God of Abraham and thus they are collectively referred to as Abrahamic religions.
As a Christian I’m sure you’ll be interested in the Koran passages that have dialogue with Jesus.
The Koran (I know it’s an older transliteration, but I’m an older reader) is much like the Book of Psalms in the Bible. It’s a collection of poems, on various themes. You can’t make anything really cohesive out of it. There are war poems and peace poems and poems praising God and poems condemning infidels.
The book has the advantage of brevity: you can read it in a day without much difficulty. Oodles better than, say, the Book of Mormon or the Bhagavad Gita. Those are tough sledding, but the Koran is very comfortably bite-sized.
My personal favorite Sura is 109, the Unbelievers: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Say: O unbelievers! I do not serve that which you serve, and you do not serve Him Whom I serve: I will never serve that which you serve, and you will never serve Him Whom I serve: You have your religion and I have my religion.”
I read this as a celebration of tolerance. You go your way, and I’ll go my way. It doesn’t have to mean war.
Broomstick I know the meaning of the word.Though I don 't ;consider myself christian in any convention sense I do look forward to the passages you state.
Trinopus I look forward to more and as I stated, if one opens the Bible and starts reading they will most likely get a unfavorable opinion of God so I am willing to go forth. Just have not randomly hit the section that says all that BS in the rest of the book does not apply to you,nor the rest of humanity, which I do believe I found in the Bible.
How long do you think the Gita is? I was always under the impression that it’s reasonably short, so I looked it up. One of the most popular translations - Barbara Miller- is 170 pages all told. I think I could comfortably make it through that in a day.
I remembered it as much longer. It seemed to be a long, slow, difficult read, at least for me. Maybe I just hit a bad translation.
(I’ve read Dante in about seven different translations, and it really does make a difference. If I may be flip, a hell of a difference!)
Even the nice door-to-door Mormon proselytizers say not to just jump in and try to read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end! They advised me which books to start with. (Um…I don’t remember what their advice was.)
I agree translations make a lot of difference, especially since the Gita is written in verse, so getting the flow can be important to how easy or difficult it is to read. But it shouldn’t have been that much longer unless the translator added a lot of padding. Wiki says there are 750 verses, and I remember each verse being 2 shortish lines. That’s just 1500 lines of text. The original Sanskrit has a fairly pleasing chant like quality to it, which is perhaps not surprising, since religions tend to depend on stuff like that. Of course the Gita is more philosophy than religion IMO, which may make it more difficult to read.
While reading through the Qur’an may be a relatively easy task, understanding it is not. You really need to have an understanding of the historical circumstances of the time, and the development of the Islamic community, to start to know what’s going on. For example, the following sura:
Abu Lahab’s two hands shall perish and he shall perish.
His wealth and what he earned will not avail him.
He will enter in fire giving rise to flames.
And his wife also, the firewood carrier.
Around her neck a rope of twisted fiber.
Who is Abu Lahab? The Qur’an does not explain. In fact, Abu Lahab was an uncle of Muhammad, who bitterly opposed him and Islam. But then this just raises more questions.
Even if you know all this stuff, indeed, the Qur’an as a text raises far more questions than it answers.
Also, the Qur’an is not arranged in chronological order, it is arranged in order of longest to shortest suras (which I can loosely translate as chapters), with the exception of the first Sura, which is quite short. Why this is is a very long, complicated, and unsatisfying answer. Even within a sura, individual ayat (literally signs, means verses) can come from any point in Muhammad’s 23 year prophetic career. Understanding the historical circumstances of the revelations in the Qur’an is an important part of Islamic exegesis and scholarship.
Nice post. Good luck in your studies.
It is certainly possible to read the NT and get what you got out of it. I do also, now. Let me point out that God has no need grant us anything. It was All given us in our creation. It is His Will and Ours.
That said, I was raised Episcopal and the KJV turned atheist/agnostic at 17. Long story, I won’t bore you with it.
I left thinking of religion/God/Jesus as bullshit and moved into the abyss. This was pretty much occasioned by my realization that the NT was internally inconsistent (it is) and that any religion that proclaims it as the Word(s) of God is irrelevant. Unfortunately, I threw the baby (Jesus) out with the bath water. Perhaps you are doing this with Islam.
I needed a lot of help thru the years to come to that understanding. I could not have done it without A Course In Miracles (ACIM). Check it out.
I read it and found no great interest in there. There may be flowery and elegant language and you may choose to read and enjoy it for that reason but it is no Shakespeare and as with any religious text the “true” meaning (as defined by those who claim they get to define it) will be obscure and ambiguous. Not a problem when you are reading it for your own entertainment but rather more of an issues when millions consider it’s message to be sacred and infallible.
IMHO you’d be better off picking up a Dickens or some other equally more worthy work as you’ll get a greater and more coherent insight into the human condition plus, It won’t give you confusing advice on what to do and who to kill.
It is an important book of historical and social interest but any work that insists upon a third party to tell me if I’m reading it correctly is one to be wary of.
Maybe it was just confirmation bias , but when I read the Qur’an a couple years ago I also was reading a couple short side biographies about Mohammed’s life (written from a Muslim point of view). What I kept noticing was how Mohammed would repeatedly preach about righting wrongs that had happened to him. It removed anything divine and made it seem childish.
For instance, Mohammed was orphaned when he was 5 or 6 years old. The Qur’an talks about how to treat orphans 23 separate times. Especially quotes like: "And give to the orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), and do not devour their property (as an addition) to your own property; this is surely a great crime. "
Like I said, it might have just been my confirmation bias but read about Mohammed’s life first and then read the Qur’an. I could easily see how a lot of the laws and rules and bullshit is centered around his crappy life, ideas, and mistakes. (Like why he was all about praying towards Jerusalem until the Jewish elders made fun of his interpretation of the Torah and he switched the praying towards Mecca.)
I’ve read the Quran three times. Each time it was the Dawood translatioon published by Penguin books. I want to read it again, but want to do so with a heavily footnoted edition. As observed above, there are a lot of references to historical events that are not common knowledge to most American readers. The Penguin edition makes an effort to explain some of these, but it’s not a very big efort. The footnotes are very few, and you really need a lot of them.
and it’s not just the historical references. Thr Quran’s account of some stories that are in the Bible are often sketchy, and assume that you akready are familiar with the story – something not necessarily true. Even more complex, some of the stories seem to require a familiarity with apocryphal nooks of the Bible or with Jewish legends. You really do need to have a lot of annotations to the book to properly understand and appreciate it.
You need something like the Anchor Bible, or the Pelican Guide to the Bible. Most translations, as far as footnotes go, aren’t even up to the level of asimov’s Guide to the Bible. I’ve found a couple of possibilities, but have found nothing comploete or satisfying yet.